PHILIPPINE youth head coach Jamike Jarin is in favor of moving the UAAP juniors basketball calendar from the first to the second semester, saying it will free the team from a major scheduling problem in its preparation for two international competitions this year.
Jarin bared that the two competitions the PH youth team is set to take part in this year, including the Fiba World Under-17 Championship slated from August 8 to 16 in Dubai, will run smack with the UAAP and NCAA juniors basketball tournaments.
The Philippines clinched a spot in the world under-17 championship after finishing second in last year’s Fiba-Asia Under-16 Championship, bowing to China in the finals.
Also slated this year is the Fiba-Asia Under-18 Championship to be held from August 19-29 in Doha, Qatar.
“I’m personally appealing to the UAAP and NCAA because I heard that the UAAP might push its juniors basketball to the second semester. It will benefit the high school players,” Jarin said.
A move to shift the juniors basketball tournament to the second semester is being pushed by Far Eastern University and gaining support from members of the UAAP board. The proposal is now up for discussion in the league's amendments committee.
So far, no such move is being considered by the NCAA to shift its schedule.
Jarin, who is also a former head coach of the Ateneo Blue Eaglets, said the move to second semester will be mutually beneficial to the national team and the schools since the leagues will not be forced to stop play in the middle of the tournament to allow the best possible talent to make the PH squad.
Most international tournaments are being held in August and September during the summer break for most countries, Jarin said.
“The primary problem is in the Asia school calendar, tayo lang ang hindi summer ang August, and the tournaments are usually held in August and September,” said Jarin.
Jarin said holding the juniors basketball in the second semester will also help the players themselves, in terms of exposure and following.
“Kapag nagkakasabay ‘yung college and high school, ang nangyayari, walang nakakapanood sa mga bata and exposure is lessened. At least kung hindi sabay, maraming makakasuporta sa mga bata,” Jarin said.
With the Under-17 and Under-18 competitions only three days apart, Jarin also sees a problem in the preparation for the two meets. Due to the short gap between the tournaments, Jarin plans to have the Under-17 team to also play in the Under-18.
“Ang plano namin is to get the core of the Under-17 and get the best 18-year-olds so we have a legitimate chance again of probably, if luck will be on our side again, being in contention for the Under-18 world championship. Sana lang, hindi maipit sa mga scheduling ‘yung mga bata,” said Jarin.